By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
San Antonio — Members and vendors of the Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) were urged to leverage their collective capabilities in a “creative collaboration” at the buying group’s annual spring meeting here this week.
HTSA managing director Bob Hana told the more than 200 attendees at the Hyatt Regency that their resources, creativity and imagination, if used in combination, could create “untapped opportunities” in a recovering marketplace, and encouraged the group to employ what he termed divergent thinking to “break out of the norm.”
The effort will help position HTSA’s 65 dealers, installers and integrators for the coming recovery, which is evidenced by improvements in consumer confidence and major economic indicators, Hana said. While the climate remains challenging, business is on the upswing and profits are on the rise, with more than 70 percent of HTSA members reporting improved profitability in 2012, he noted.
“I’m feeling good about the trend,” Hana said, while guest speaker Kerry Moyer, retail membership senior director of the
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), pointed to a “return to trend growth” by 2014.
The first fruit of Hana’s collaborative effort is a new “refresher course” in sales and step-up selling, developed by HTSA suppliers Audioquest, B&W, Digital Projection, Stewart Filmscreen and Universal Remote Control, that will launch later this year.
The group will also hold a second annual marketing conference for middle managers July 9-11 in Chicago, and invited vendors to get their messages out to HTSA clients by providing content for its monthly newsletters at no charge for up to five campaigns.
The newsletter, along with other print and online initiatives, are critical to creating demand, Hana said, and have become HTSA’s central focus during his tenure.
“We’ve elevated HTSA beyond a traditional buying group,” he said. “We’re shifting to marketing which is the strength of the organization. We’re using websites, links, search and social networking to find more clients and increase demand.”
The group’s spring meeting continues through Friday.
Complete coverage of the HTSA meeting will appear in the April 8 issue of TWICE.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.